I am trained in advanced persuasion and negotiation.
So much so that you really should look around my eyes, not into my eyes, cos God knows what I could do with my madd skillz in brain manipulation.
This is of course total bollox.
In my person spec, I’m supposed to have “advanced” persuasion and negotiation skillz, and I have had training in these Jedi style dark arts.
It wasn’t bad, I’ve forgotten most it now, but I remember not hating it which is a success for me and training.
People like me, Policy Officers, are expected to be able to communicate usefully with people. In fact I personally expect that any human being employed should be able to communicate.
But as with so many things in work, when I turn my beady systemsy eye to this, I can see the command and control assumption lying limply beneath it.
As a policy officer, it’s my job to try and get other people to do things that if they thought about them for a bit, and had any say it in it, they wouldn’t do at all.
Filling in forms for me, implementing some kind of performance hoo-ha, sending me things.
The policy officer is often an implementer of new frameworks or ways of doing things, such as this year’s latest transformational programme. So if they are some kind of a Don Draper they can
soil themselves in an alcoholic stupor sell this to the bemused masses with their advanced skillz.
This is because decisions come from higher up the pointy end, trickle down to the likes of me, and I have to persuade busy people doing possibly useful things to stop doing them and do this instead.
I think this is the wrong way round.
Instead of requiring the ability to sell something to somebody, organisations should be training people to resist persuasion instead. Train them in anti-persuasion. The ability to resist nonsense.
Staff should be trained in how to listen, evaluate, come to a conclusion and if necessary reject what it is some corporate goon is coming to foist on them.
This would mean that the job of anybody in an organisation would be to think for themselves.
This is a bit of a radical departure from the current set up, where the thinking happens somewhere else…
So what would this look like? Total chaos?
No, instead of random opinions fighting it out in a nightmarish Darwinian arena where the most plausible survive, instead people would be required to work out what would work in reality, not in opinion
They should be taught how to experiment, how to learn, and ultimately to find out what works.
Instead of who’s opinion wins, reality wins. It always does in the end anyway.